Simon Cowell: Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole Will Be the New 'X Factor' Judges

By Kevin Fallon

Even after The Voice premieres on NBC Tuesday night, there's still another American Idol-like singing competition set to have a major debut this TV season. An American version of Simon Cowell's British talent series, The X Factor, will begin airing in May, and the former Idol curmudgeon has turned the search for its judging panel into the biggest A-list casting call since, well, American Idol began seeking out its new judges. In an interview with Deadline's Nikki Finke, Cowell revealed that Paula Abdul and British popstar Cheryl Cole are in talks to fill the remaining two slots at the judging table.

Stars including Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, Cee Lo, Fergie, and, at one point, current Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, were all reportedly under consideration to join Cowell and former record executive LA Reid on the X Factor panel—big names with bigger personalities who had some hoping that Cowell's new series wouldn't be a second (or, rather, third) coming of the two other competitions he's already headed. But by choosing Abdul, who spent eight seasons seated next to Cowell at the Idol table, and Cole, who judges the British version of The X Factor alongside him, it's clear that Cowell's gearing up to produce more of the same with the new series. Finke, who conducted the exclusive, is certainly not impressed:

"First of all, it's like casting a dinner party. You've got to have people on the panel you get on well with." But in my opinion this is sounding like the most boring dinner party ever and I wouldn't bother staying tuned through dessert.

Read the full story at Deadline.

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